Oregon Charter School News Weekly

A bi-weekly newsletter of Charter School happenings
around Oregon and the Nation.

Despite being one of the slower weeks during a short session, due to the February 14th deadline for bills to have had a work session, it wasn’t without some interesting action. But, first the procedural details. 

Since the beginning of the session, a total of 271 measures/bills have been introduced. After the first session deadline, 217 of those measures are still alive. 

80% of the total number of bills introduced are still under consideration. So far, only 54 measures have died.

Of the dead bills, 20 were Senate bills and 34 were House bills. To read through the list of Senate measures that died, click here. To read through the House measures that died, click here.

A number of big topics for this session come with impacts to Oregon’s budget, and therefore must be evaluated by the Joint Committee on Ways and Means (AKA the budget committee) before heading to the House or Senate floors for a vote. Chamber deadlines for public hearings and work sessions do not apply to the budget committee.

So far, the Senate has referred 38 bills to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. The House has referred 47 bills to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

The most significant pieces are related to workforce, the Governor’s $200 million request for “Future Ready Oregon” (SB 1545) and a $100 million childcare investment (HB 4005). 

Farmworker overtime (HB 4002) remains one of the most contentious pieces of legislation. Proposals to move the threshold to 50 hours (from 40) are under negotiation, however, opponents of the bill are in a tight spot. If the legislature doesn’t pass a bill the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), headed by former Representative (and current candidate for CD4) Val Hoyle, could address the issue through rule-making and potentially draft something opponents dislike far more than HB 4002. 

HB 4002 has had multiple public hearings, a rally was held by supporters on Tuesday this week, and House Republican leadership spent time meeting with House Speaker Rayfield during Tuesday’s floor session. House Republicans are not allowing rules suspension, which causes all bills to be read in full prior to a vote, and slows down the ability to move the large number of bills before them. It’s a familiar strategy to slow things down and pull people to the negotiating table. 

To see bills that ORC3S is tracking click here

Rising Leaders Initiative with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

The Rising Leaders Initiative is a one-year advocacy training program for charter high school students who want to become active participants in education policy decisions in their local community and state and develop skills to guide their educational and professional pathways. They will recruit a diverse group of charter high school students who want to advocate for better education policies in their communities and give back to the next generation of students. Students will participate in monthly virtual workshops to deepen their knowledge on the functions of civic participation, education advocacy, coalition building and develop leadership and public speaking skills. Students will create and lead an advocacy club in their school to advocate for their charter school and develop impactful policy initiatives to address an urgent public education issue affecting their school or community. 

Students are expected to participate in all scheduled virtual meetings and trainings. Meetings/trainings will be held monthly from September 2022-June 2023.

Students will be eligible for a $3,000 stipend for their participation in the program. Advocacy clubs will also receive operating funds.

  • High school students enrolled at a U.S. charter school in the 2022-2023 academic year
  • Good academic standing
  • Demonstrated commitment to others through volunteering and service to their school/community.
  • An interest in advocacy, leadership, and government
Learn more and apply
More Schools, Community Organizations Sought for Summer Food Service Program
The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is seeking more schools, community organizations and tribes to participate in the Summer Food Service Program  (SFSP) this summer to ensure children 18 and younger, who benefit from meal programs during the school year, continue to have that same access to nutritious meals when schools are closed, or students are unable to attend school in person.

“Access to summer meals is an important way to ensure that children continue to receive the nutrition they need, to learn and grow, when school is not in session,” ODE Summer Meals Outreach Coordinator Cathy Brock said. "It is important to expand the program and close the hunger gap in all areas of the state, and ODE’s Child Nutrition Program is reaching out to ensure that children continue to receive meals throughout the summer."

For information about how to apply for the Summer Food Service Program, please contact ode.communitynutrition@ode.oregon.govThe deadline to submit an application to become a Summer Food Service Sponsor is May 13, 2022. 

ODE has state grant funds available up to $20,000 per sponsor to expand or start up summer meal programs.  For more information on grant funds, please email Kaitlin Skreen or call (503) 947-5901.

Learn more
School Opportunities and Resources

Nominate for the National Alliance's 2022 Changemaker Awards
Do you know an individual who is making a difference in their charter school and their community? Nominate them for the National Alliance's 2022 Changemaker Awards! During National Charter Schools Week 2022, May 9-13, we'll highlight school leaders, teachers, parents, community advocates, or charter school alumni who are going above and beyond to adapt new ideas, make change, or use their voice and talents to fight for one of the many issues facing our nation today. We want to hear who you think deserves to be recognized! 

New resources on weighted lotteries are now available on the ORC3S Member Portal!
Weighted lotteries benefit Oregon charter schools by helping charter schools increase the diversity of their student bodies. Historically underserved students will experience more equitable access to these rich educational opportunities and all students will experience a richer learning environment. And, according to the Century Foundation, such learning environments lead to stronger academic outcomes. Previous Oregon Charter School enrollment law only allowed schools to give priority for admission to students who have enrolled siblings. A new law, passed in 2021 by ORC3S (and championed by Rep. Susan McLain) allows public charter schools to implement a weighted lottery that provides a system of enrollment preference for:
  • Historically underserved students (defined as students at risk because of race, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, income level, proficiency in the English language, socioeconomic status, or geographic location.)
  • Children participating in a publicly funded or free preschool program operated by the public charter school
  • Students who are at risk (defined as students from economically disadvantaged families; identified as having special educational needs; are limited in proficiency in the English language; are at risk of dropping out of high school; or do not meet minimum standards of academic proficiency)
Learn more about weighted lotteries and access resources on our member portal! The ORC3S Member Portal is a password-protected section of the ORC3S website where we will host a variety of resources & tools that ORC3S member schools can access anytime they want. Not a member? Click here to learn more about membership and apply today!

National Charter School Resource Center Funding Opportunity Database
The database includes one-time and ongoing grants, fellowships, prizes, and scholarships. Sponsors include the U.S. Federal Government and philanthropic organizations. The page is updated frequently as charter school funding opportunities are announced. Click here to view the database and search for funding opportunities.

Upcoming Events

Programs, Policy, and Research

Register Now: 2022 National Charter Schools Conference in Washington, DC
Registration launched last week for the 2022 National Charter Schools Conference in Washington, D.C., June 19-22. The National Alliance is committed to hosting a safe and rewarding event to make up for the time we’ve lost together, but space is limited. Join them where the movement meets. Click here to learn more.

2022 Charter School Model Law Rankings
Last week, the National Alliance released the 13th annual charter school model law rankings report. The change in states’ rankings indicates the efforts of lawmakers and leaders who are listening to families and delivering on the promise of high-quality public education for all by creating and strengthening charter schools laws across the country. See how various states performed this year!

New Report on How Charter Schools Improve Outcomes for Students in Metro Areas
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute is out with a new report that analyzes two decades of data to understand how the presence of public charter schools in a metro area impacts student achievement—both in district and charter schools across America. One of the report’s major findings: “On average, increases in Black and Hispanic charter school enrollment share are associated with sizable increases in the average math achievement of these student groups, especially in large metro areas.”

Charter Schools in the News

Here are a few local headlines from the past few weeks:

Oregon’s online schools report graduation rates amid increased enrollment, closer scrutiny, OPB

Universal masking will remain an option for Oregon school districts after March 31, KMTR

Here are a few national headlines from the past few weeks:

Honor Black History Month By Giving Our Children High-Quality Education (Op-Ed), The Black Wall Street Times

Public education is facing a crisis of epic proportions, The Washington Post

Majority of Parents Happy With How Schools Handling Pandemic Issues: Poll, Newsweek

An LGBT-Friendly Charter School in the Heart of Alabama Shows the Power and Flexibility of School Choice, Reason

The year of school choice, American Enterprise Institute 

Boston Study Offers Latest Evidence that Charter Schools Boost Voting, The Seventy Four
Is your school a member of ORC3S yet? 
We are a coalition of community-based, public charter schools representing all corners of our state. Although, we are all unique in our pedagogy and practice, what unites us is our commitment to educational innovation and to high-quality schools for all students. Our mission is to provide a voice and sustainable support and guidance for the members of our coalition.
Join us now!
Oregon Coalition of Community Charter Schools
13809 SE Division St Ste A
Portland, OR 97236

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Oregon Coalition of Community Charter Schools · 13809 SE Division St Ste A · Portland, OR 97236-2843 · USA

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